According to the multi-process theory of prospective memory (ProM), time-based tasks rely more heavily on strategic processes dependent on prefrontal systems than do event-based tasks. Given the prominent frontostriatal pathophysiology of HIV infection, one would expect HIV-infected individuals to demonstrate greater deficits in time-based versus event-based ProM. However, the two prior studies examining this question have produced variable results. We evaluated this hypothesis in 143 individuals with HIV infection and 43 demographically similar seronegative adults (HIV−) who completed the research version of the Memory for Intentions Screening Test, which yields parallel subscales of time- and event-based ProM. Results showed main effects of HIV serostatus and cue type, but no interaction between serostatus and cue. Planned pair-wise comparisons showed a significant effect of HIV on time-based ProM and a trend-level effect on event-based ProM that was driven primarily by the subset of participants with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. Nevertheless, time-based ProM was more strongly correlated with measures of executive functions, attention/working memory, and verbal fluency in HIV-infected persons. Although HIV-associated deficits in time- and event-based ProM appear to be of comparable severity, the cognitive architecture of time-based ProM may be more strongly influenced by strategic monitoring and retrieval processes.
AIDS dementia complex; Episodic memory; Executive functions; Neuropsychological assessment
Difficulties with sustained attention have been found among both persons with HIV infection (HIV+) and bipolar disorder (BD). The authors examined sustained attention among 39 HIV+ individuals with BD (HIV+/BD+) and 33 HIV-infected individuals without BD (HIV+/BD−), using the Conners’ Continuous Performance Test–II (CPT–II). A Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) score was also assigned to each participant as an overall indicator of daily functioning abilities. HIV+/BD+ participants had significantly worse performance on CPT–II omission errors, hit reaction time SE (Hit RT SE), variability of SE, and perseverations than HIV+/BD− participants. When examining CPT–II performance over the six study blocks, both HIV+/BD+ and HIV+/BD− participants evidenced worse performance on scores of commission errors and reaction times as the test progressed. The authors also examined the effect of current mood state (i.e., manic, depressive, euthymic) on CPT–II performance, but no significant differences were observed across the various mood states. HIV+/BD+ participants had significantly worse GAF scores than HIV+/BD− participants, which indicates poorer overall functioning in the dually-affected group; among HIV+/BD+ persons, significant negative correlations were found between GAF scores and CPT–II omission and commission errors, detectability, and perseverations, indicating a possible relationship between decrements in sustained attention and worse daily-functioning outcomes.
Estimates of the prevalence of lifetime suicidal ideation and attempt, and risks for new-onset suicidality, among HIV-infected (HIV+) individuals are not widely available in the era of modern combined antiretroviral treatment (cART).
Participants (n=1560) were evaluated with a comprehensive battery of tests that included the depression and substance use modules of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) as part of a large prospective cohort study at six U.S. academic medical centers. Participants with possible lifetime depression (n=981) were classified into five categories: 1) no thoughts of death or suicide (n=352); 2) thoughts of death (n=224); 3) thoughts of suicide (n=99); 4) made a suicide plan (n=102); and 5) attempted suicide (n=204).
Twenty-six percent (405/1560) of participants reported lifetime suicidal ideation and 13% (204/1560) reported lifetime suicide attempt. Participants who reported suicidal thoughts or plans, or attempted suicide, reported higher scores on the BDI-II (p<0.0001), and higher rates of current major depressive disorder (p=0.01), than those who did not. Attempters reported higher rates of lifetime substance abuse (p=0.02) and current use of psychotropic medications (p=0.01) than non-attempters.
Study assessments focused on lifetime, rather than current, suicide. Data was not collected on the timing of ideation or attempt, frequency, or nature of suicide attempt.
High rates of lifetime suicidal ideation and attempt, and the relationship of past report with current depressed mood, suggests that mood disruption is still prevalent in HIV. Findings emphasize the importance of properly diagnosing and treating psychiatric comorbidities among HIV persons in the cART era.
HIV; depression; suicide
While neuropsychological deficits are evident among methamphetamine (meth) addicts, they are often unrelated to meth exposure parameters such as lifetime consumption and length of abstinence. The notion that some meth users develop neuropsychological impairments while others with similar drug exposure do not, suggests that there may be individual differences in vulnerability to the neurotoxic effects of meth. One source of differential vulnerability could come from genotypic variability in metabolic clearance of meth, dependent on the activity of cytochrome P450-2D6 (CYP2D6). We compared neuropsychological performance in 52 individuals with a history of meth dependence according with their CYP2D6 phenotype. All were free of HIV or hepatitis C infection and did not meet dependence criteria for other substances. Extensive metabolizers showed worse overall neuropsychological performance and were three times as likely to be cognitively impaired as intermediate/poor metabolizers. Groups did not differ in their demographic or meth use characteristics, nor did they evidence differences in mood disorder or other substance use. This preliminary study is the first to suggest that efficient meth metabolism is associated with worse neurocognitive outcomes in humans, and implicates the products of oxidative metabolism of meth as a possible source of brain injury.
Substance abuse; CYP2D6; Polymorphisms; Neurotoxicity; Metabolism; Cognition
To determine how serious a confound substance use (SU) might be in studies on HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) we examined the relationship of SU history to neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in participants enrolled in the CNS HIV Antiretroviral Therapy Effects Research (CHARTER) study.
After excluding cases with behavioral evidence of acute intoxication and histories of factors that independently could account for NCI (e.g., stroke), baseline demographic, medical, SU, and neurocognitive data were analyzed from 399 participants. Potential SU risk for NCI was determined by the following criteria: lifetime SU DSM-IV diagnosis, self-report of marked lifetime SU, or positive urine toxicology (UTOX). Participants were divided into three groups: no SU (N = 134), Non-syndromic SU (N = 131), syndromic SU (N = 134) and matched on literacy level, nadir CD4, and depressive symptoms.
While approximately 50% of the participants were diagnosed with HAND, a MANCOVA of neurocogntive summary scores, covarying for UTOX, revealed no significant effect of SU status. Correlational analyses indicated weak associations between lifetime heroin dosage and poor recall and working memory, as well as between cannabis and cocaine use and better verbal fluency.
These data indicate that HIV neurocognitive effects are seen at about the same frequency in those with and without historic substance abuse, in cases that are equated on other factors that might contribute to NCI. Therefore, studies on neuroAIDS and its treatment need not exclude such cases. However, the effects of acute SU and current SU disorders on HAND require further study.
Substance use; HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder; cognition
China’s HIV epidemic commenced in its agrarian provinces through contaminated commercial plasma donation centers and is now becoming a public health concern nationwide. Little is known of the psychiatric and substance use disorder characteristics of this population, or their impact on everyday function, employment, and life quality.
HIV infected (HIV+) former plasma donors (N = 203) and HIV-negative (HIV-) donor controls (N = 198) completed the World Mental Health Survey Composite International Diagnostic Interview to determine lifetime major depressive disorder (MDD), substance use disorders, and suicidality. Current mood and suicidality were assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory-II. Everyday function was measured by an Activity of Daily Living questionnaire; life quality was evaluated by the Medical Outcomes Study-HIV.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a significant cause of morbidity in people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). FKBP5 is a candidate gene with single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs1360780 and rs3800373 associated with MDD. This gene product and its relative, FKBP4, physically associate with the glucocorticoid receptor whose function is implicated in MDD pathophysiology. Because these genes are expressed in blood and brain and elevated in HIV infection, we explored the relationship between gene expression, genotype, and MDD symptoms. Longitudinally followed subjects (N = 57) as part of the CNS HIV AntiRetroviral Effects Research study, with diagnosed MDD and who donated blood for genotyping and gene expression analysis, were assessed. Subjects donated blood on adjacent visits with and without meeting criteria for MDD episode. Changes in clinical parameters were compared changes in gene expression. Change in FKBP5 expression correlated with change in Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) for MDD → euthymic comparison in GG genotype of rs3800373 (P = .013) and TT carriers of rs1360780 (P = .02). In euthymic → MDD comparison, GG homozygous, FKBP5 expression correlated with more severe change in BDI. Change in FKBP4 expression did not correlate with changes in clinical or depression measurements. Higher FKBP5 expression correlated with greater symptom change for GG carriers of rs3800373.
FKBP4; FKBP5; gene expression; genotyping; HIV; human immunodeficiency virus; major depression; major depressive disorder
Recent advances in understanding of the mode of action of tetrahydrocannabinol and related cannabinoid in-gredients of marijuana, plus the accumulating anecdotal reports on potential medical benefits have spurred increasing re-search into possible medicinal uses of cannabis. Recent clinical trials with smoked and vaporized marijuana, as well as other botanical extracts indicate the likelihood that the cannabinoids can be useful in the management of neuropathic pain, spasticity due to multiple sclerosis, and possibly other indications. As with all medications, benefits and risks need to be weighed in recommending cannabis to patients. We present an algorithm that may be useful to physicians in determining whether cannabis might be recommended as a treatment in jurisdictions where such use is permitted.
Cannabis; chronic pain; pain.
Chronic use of methamphetamine (MA) is associated with neuropsychological dysfunction and affective distress. Some normalization of function has been reported after abstinence, but little data is available on the possible added benefits of long-term sobriety. To address this, we performed detailed neuropsychological and affective evaluations in 83 MA-dependent individuals at a baseline visit and following an average one-year interval period. Among the 83 MA-dependent participants, 25 remained abstinent and 58 used MA at least once during the interval period. Thirty-eight non-MA-addicted, demographically matched healthy comparison (i.e., HC) participants were also examined. At baseline, both MA-dependent participants who were able to maintain abstinence and those who were not performed significantly worse than the healthy comparison subjects on global neuropsychological functioning and were significantly more distressed. At the one-year follow-up, both the long term abstainers and healthy comparison groups showed comparable global neuropsychological performance and affective distress levels, whereas the MA-dependent group who continued to use were worse than the comparison participants in terms of global neuropsychological functioning and affective distress. An interaction was observed between neuropsychological impairment at baseline, MA abstinence, and cognitive improvement, with abstinent MA-dependent participants who were neuropsychologically impaired at baseline demonstrating significantly and disproportionately greater improvement in processing speed and slightly greater improvement in motor abilities relative to the other participants. These results suggest partial recovery of neuropsychological functioning and improvement in affective distress upon sustained abstinence from MA that may extend beyond a year or more.
Methamphetamine; dependence; drug abstinence; cognition; central nervous system; affective disorders
Research into the biological processes that increase susceptibility to methamphetamine dependence has been conducted primarily in Asian populations. Using a case-control design this study’s purpose was to explore, among a population of methamphetamine-dependent Caucasians, six putative single nucleotide polymorphisms previously found to be associated with methamphetamine dependence in Asian populations. 193 non-psychotic males (117 methamphetamine-dependent and 76 controls) were genotyped for variants located in six genes (AKT1, ARRB2, BDNF, COMT, GSTP1, OPRM1). Genotypic and allelic frequencies, odds ratios, and 95% confidence intervals were calculated. None of the putative gene associations were significantly replicated in our sample of Caucasian men. Effect size comparisons suggest a trend toward allelic divergence for arrestin beta 2 (ARRB2) and glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) and allelic convergence for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Results provide preliminary support for further exploration and validation of candidate SNPs for METH dependence reported among Asian populations across other ethnic/ancestral groups.
AKT1; COMT; OPRM1; ARRB2; BDNF; GSTP1
Despite management with opioids and other pain modifying therapies, neuropathic pain continues to reduce the quality of life and daily functioning in HIV-infected individuals. Cannabinoid receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems have been shown to modulate pain perception. We conducted a clinical trial to assess the impact of smoked cannabis on neuropathic pain in HIV. This was a phase II, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of analgesia with smoked cannabis in HIV-associated distal sensory predominant polyneuropathy (DSPN). Eligible subjects had neuropathic pain refractory to at least two previous analgesic classes; they continued on their prestudy analgesic regimens throughout the trial. Regulatory considerations dictated that subjects smoke under direct observation in a hospital setting. Treatments were placebo and active cannabis ranging in potency between 1 and 8% Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, four times daily for 5 consecutive days during each of 2 treatment weeks, separated by a 2-week washout. The primary outcome was change in pain intensity as measured by the Descriptor Differential Scale (DDS) from a pretreatment baseline to the end of each treatment week. Secondary measures included assessments of mood and daily functioning. Of 127 volunteers screened, 34 eligible subjects enrolled and 28 completed both cannabis and placebo treatments. Among the completers, pain relief was greater with cannabis than placebo (median difference in DDS pain intensity change, 3.3 points, effect size = 0.60; p = 0.016). The proportions of subjects achieving at least 30% pain relief with cannabis versus placebo were 0.46 (95%CI 0.28, 0.65) and 0.18 (0.03, 0.32). Mood and daily functioning improved to a similar extent during both treatment periods. Although most side effects were mild and self-limited, two subjects experienced treatment-limiting toxicities. Smoked cannabis was generally well tolerated and effective when added to concomitant analgesic therapy in patients with medically refractory pain due to HIV DSPN.
HIV; clinical; neuropathic pain; cannabis; polyneuropathy
We explored the possible augmenting effect of traumatic brain injury (TBI) history on HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) associated neurocognitive complications. HIV-infected participants with self-reported history of definite TBI were compared to HIV patients without TBI history. Groups were equated for relevant demographic and HIV-associated characteristics. The TBI group evidenced significantly greater deficits in executive functioning and working memory. N-acetylaspartate, a putative marker of neuronal integrity, was significantly lower in the frontal gray matter and basal ganglia brain regions of the TBI group. Together, these results suggest an additional brain impact of TBI over that from HIV alone. One clinical implication is that HIV patients with TBI history may need to be monitored more closely for increased risk of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder signs or symptoms.
Head injury; HIV associated neurocognitive disorder; Neuropsychological performance; Magnetic resonance spectroscopy; N-acetylaspartate
Methamphetamine (meth) abuse is increasingly of public health concern and has been associated with neurocognitive dysfunction. Some previous studies have been hampered by background differences between meth users and comparison subjects, as well as unknown HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) status, which can also affect brain functioning. We compared the neurocognitive functioning of 54 meth dependent (METH+) study participants who had been abstinent for an average of 129 days, to that of 46 demographically comparable control subjects (METH-) with similar level of education and reading ability. All participants were free of HIV and HCV infection. The METH+ group exhibited higher rates of neuropsychological impairment in most areas tested. Among meth users, neuropsychologically normal (n=32) and impaired (n=22) subjects did not differ with respect to self-reported age at first use, total years of use, route of consumption, or length of abstinence. Those with motor impairment had significantly greater meth use in the past year, but impairment in cognitive domains was unrelated to meth exposure. The apparent lack of correspondence between substance use parameters and cognitive impairment suggests the need for further study of individual differences in vulnerability to the neurotoxic effects of methamphetamine.
Methamphetamine; Stimulant; Motor impairment; Neuropsychological; Cognitive impairment; Drug exposure; Predictors
We examined neurocognitive functioning among persons with acute or early HIV infection (AEH) and hypothesized that the neurocognitive performance of AEH individuals would be intermediate between HIV seronegatives (HIV−) and those with chronic HIV infection. Comprehensive neurocognitive testing was accomplished with 39 AEH, 63 chronically HIV infected, and 38 HIV− participants. All AEH participants were HIV infected for less than 1 year. Average domain deficit scores were calculated in seven neurocognitive domains. HIV−, AEH, and chronically HIV infected groups were ranked from best (rank of 1) to worst (rank of 3) in each domain. All participants received detailed substance use, neuromedical, and psychiatric evaluations and HIV infected persons provided information on antiretroviral treatment and completed laboratory evaluations including plasma and CSF viral loads. A nonparametric test of ordered alternatives (Page test), and the appropriate nonparametric follow-up test, was used to evaluate level of neuropsychological (NP) functioning across and between groups. The median duration of infection for the AEH group was 16 weeks [interquartile range, IQR: 10.3–40.7] as compared to 4.9 years [2.8–11.1] in the chronic HIV group. A Page test using ranks of average scores in the seven neurocognitive domains showed a significant monotonic trend with the best neurocognitive functioning in the HIV− group (mean rank = 1.43), intermediate neurocognitive functioning in the AEH group (mean rank = 1.71), and the worst in the chronically HIV infected (mean rank = 2.86; L statistic = 94, p < 0.01); however, post-hoc testing comparing neurocognitive impairment of each group against each of the other groups showed that the chronically infected group was significantly different from both the HIV− and AEH groups on neurocognitive performance; the AEH group was statistically indistinguishable from the HIV− group. Regression models among HIV infected participants were unable to identify significant predictors of neurocognitive performance. Neurocognitive functioning was worst among persons with chronic HIV infection. Although a significant monotonic trend existed and patterns of the data suggest the AEH individuals may fall intermediate to HIV− and chronic participants, we were not able to statistically confirm this hypothesis.
HIV infection; HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders; Acute or early HIV; Primary HIV
Acute/early HIV infection is a period of high risk for HIV transmission. Better understanding of behavioral aspects during this period could improve interventions to limit further transmission. Thirty-four participants with acute/early HIV infection from six U.S. cities were assessed with the Mini International Diagnostic Interview, Beck Depression Inventory II, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Brief COPE, and an in-depth interview. Most had a pre-HIV history of alcohol or substance use disorder (85%); a majority (53%) had a history of major depressive or bipolar disorder. However, post-diagnosis coping was predominantly adaptive, with only mild to moderate elevations of anxious or depressive mood. Respondents described challenges managing HIV in tandem with pre-existing substance abuse problems, depression, and anxiety. Integration into medical and community services was associated with adaptive coping. The psychiatric context of acute/early HIV infection may be a precursor to infection, but not necessarily a barrier to intervention to reduce forward transmission of HIV among persons newly infected.
Acute HIV infection; psychiatric disorder; substance use disorder; coping
The HIV epidemic in China has expanded rapidly in recent years, but little is known about the prevalence and features of HIV Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HANDs) in this part of the world. We administered a comprehensive Western neuropsychological (NP) test battery to 203 HIV+ and 198 HIV-former plasma donors in the rural area of Anhui province. We found that 26% in the HIV- sample, and 46% in the HIV+ sample were infected with HCV, which can also have CNS effects. To classify NP impairment, we developed demographically corrected test norms based upon individuals free of both infections (N=141). Using a global summary score, NP impairment was found in 34.2% of the HIV mono-infected group and 39.7% of the co-infected group, as compared to 12.7% of the uninfected controls (p<.001). HIV+ participants with AIDS were more likely to be impaired (43%) than non-AIDS individuals (29%, p<.05). Lastly, when all infection groups were combined, participants with NP impairment reported more cognitive complaints (p<.01) and increased dependence in everyday functioning (p=.01). In sum, NP impairment in this large rural Chinese sample was associated with both HIV and HCV infections, and the impairment's prevalence, severity, and pattern were similar to those reported by Western studies. Clinical significance of NP impairment in this population is suggested by the participants’ reports of reduced everyday functioning. These findings indicate that HAND is likely to be an important feature of HIV infection in developing countries, underscoring the need for international efforts to develop CNS relevant treatments.
HIV; HCV; neurocognitive disorders; China
Research increasingly supports the neurovirulence of chronic infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). For example, HCV infection has been associated with neuropsychological impairment in several ability areas, including psychomotor skills. This study aimed to examine whether HCV-associated neuropsychological impairment is predictive of declines in the independent performance of physical (PADLs) and instrumental (IADLs) activities of daily living. One-hundred and six volunteers with HCV infection completed a comprehensive neuropsychological, medical, and psychiatric research evaluation. As compared to 30 HCV seronegative comparison subjects, the HCV-infected group reported significantly greater declines in both PADLs and IADLs. Within the HCV cohort, individuals with impaired speed of information processing reported significantly greater IADL declines, whereas impaired fine-motor coordination was associated with declines in both IADLs and PADLs. In a series of regression analyses, impaired speed of information processing and depressive symptoms (as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory) were the only independent predictors of IADL declines, whereas general affective distress (as measured by the Profile of Mood States), sex, and fine-motor coordination impairment were predictive of declines in PADLs. Although the clinical assessment of HCV typically emphasizes both affective (e.g., depression) and physical factors, findings from the present study suggest that cognitive impairment is an important contributor to everyday functioning in persons living with HCV infection and therefore warrants consideration in clinical and research evaluations.
hepatitis; cognitive impairment; depression; activities of daily living; motor
Non-adherence to combination antiretroviral therapies (cART) is highly prevalent and significantly increases the risk of adverse HIV disease outcomes. The current study evaluated the hypothesis that prospective memory – a dissociable aspect of episodic memory describing the ability to execute a future intention – plays an important role in successful cART adherence. Seventy-nine individuals with HIV infection who were prescribed at least one antiretroviral medication underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological and neuromedical evaluation prior to completing a one-month observation of their cART adherence as measured by electronic medication monitoring. Non-adherent individuals (n = 31) demonstrated significantly poorer prospective memory functioning as compared to adherent persons (n = 48), particularly on an index of time-based ProM (i.e., elevated loss of time errors). Deficits in time-based prospective memory were independently predictive of cART non-adherence, even after considering the possible influence of established predictors of adherence, such as general cognitive impairment (e.g., retrospective learning and memory) and psychiatric comorbidity (e.g., depression). These findings extend a nascent literature showing that impairment in time-based prospective memory significantly increases the risk of medication non-adherence and therefore may guide the development of novel strategies for intervention.
Human immunodeficiency virus; AIDS dementia complex; Neuropsychological tests; Cognitive science; Patient compliance; Time perception
Acute/early HIV infection is a period of high risk for HIV transmission. Better understanding of behavioral aspects during this period could improve interventions to limit further transmission. Thirty-four participants with acute/early HIV infection from six US cities were assessed with the Mini International Diagnostic Interview, Beck Depression Inventory II, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Brief COPE, and an in-depth interview. Most had a pre-HIV history of alcohol or substance use disorder (85%); a majority (53%) had a history of major depressive or bipolar disorder. However, post-diagnosis coping was predominantly adaptive, with only mild to moderate elevations of anxious or depressive mood. Respondents described challenges managing HIV in tandem with pre-existing substance abuse problems, depression, and anxiety. Integration into medical and community services was associated with adaptive coping. The psychiatric context of acute/early HIV infection may be a precursor to infection, but not necessarily a barrier to intervention to reduce forward transmission of HIV among persons newly infected.
Acute HIV infection; Psychiatric disorder; Substance use disorder; Coping
The risks and factors contributing to major depressive episodes in HIV infection remain unclear. This 2-year prospective study compared cumulative rates and predictors of a major depressive episode in HIV-infected (HIV+) men (N=297) and uninfected (HIV−) risk-group controls (N=90).
By design participants at entry were without current major depression, substance dependence or major anxiety disorder. Standardized neuromedical, neuropsychological, neuroimaging, life events, and psychiatric assessments (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM III-R) were conducted semi-annually for those with AIDS, and annually for all others.
Lifetime prevalence of major depression or other psychiatric disorder did not differ at baseline between HIV+ men and controls. On 2-year follow up those with symptomatic HIV disease were significantly more likely to experience a major depressive episode than were asymptomatic HIV+ individuals and HIV− controls (p<0.05). Episodes were as likely to be first onset as recurrent depression. After baseline disease stage and medical variables associated with HIV infection were controlled, a lifetime history of major depression, or of lifetime psychiatric co-morbidity (two or more psychiatric disorders), predicted subsequent major depressive episode (p <0.05). Neither HIV disease progression during follow-up, nor the baseline presence of neurocognitive impairment, clinical brain imaging abnormality, or marked life adversity predicted a later major depressive episode.
Research cohort of men examined before era of widespread use of advanced anti-HIV therapies.
Symptomatic HIV disease, but not HIV infection itself, increases intermediate-term risk of major depression. Prior psychiatric history most strongly predicted future vulnerability.
Optimal adherence to antiretroviral medications is critical to the effective long-term management of HIV infection. Although prospective memory (ProM; i.e., “remembering to remember”) has long been theorized to play an important role in medication adherence, no prior studies have evaluated whether HIV-associated ProM impairment possesses unique predictive value in this regard. Results from this study demonstrate a robust association between ProM impairment and self-reported medication management in 87 HIV-infected persons currently prescribed antiretroviral medications. Specifically, more frequent ProM complaints and performance deficits on both laboratory and semi-naturalistic ProM tasks were all independently related to poorer self-reported medication management. A series of hierarchical regression analyses revealed that HIV-associated ProM impairment accounted for a significant amount of variance in self-reported medication management beyond that which was explained by other factors known to predict nonadherence, including mood disorders, psychosocial variables, environmental structure, and deficits on a traditional battery of neuropsychological tests. Overall, these findings support the hypothesis that ProM captures a unique and largely untapped aspect of cognition that is germane to optimal medication adherence. The potential benefits of individualized remediation strategies that are informed by conceptual models of ProM and specifically target medication adherence warrant further exploration.
Human immunodeficiency virus; Neuropsychological assessment; Episodic memory; Treatment compliance
HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders remain common despite use of potent antiretroviral therapy (ART). Ongoing viral replication due to poor distribution of antivirals into the CNS may increase risk for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. This study's objective was to determine penetration of a commonly prescribed antiretroviral drug, efavirenz, into CSF.
CHARTER is an ongoing, North American, multicentre, observational study to determine the effects of ART on HIV-associated neurological disease. Single random plasma and CSF samples were drawn within 1 h of each other from subjects taking efavirenz between September 2003 and July 2007. Samples were assayed by HPLC or HPLC/mass spectrometry with detection limits of 39 ng/mL (plasma) and <0.1 ng/mL (CSF).
Eighty participants (age 44 ± 8 years; 79 ± 15 kg; 20 females) had samples drawn 12.5 ± 5.4 h post-dose. The median efavirenz concentrations after a median of 7 months [interquartile range (IQR) 2–17] of therapy were 2145 ng/mL in plasma (IQR 1384–4423) and 13.9 ng/mL in CSF (IQR 4.1–21.2). The CSF/plasma concentration ratio from paired samples drawn within 1 h of each other was 0.005 (IQR 0.0026–0.0076; n = 69). The CSF/IC50 ratio was 26 (IQR 8–41) using the published IC50 for wild-type HIV (0.51 ng/mL). Two CSF samples had concentrations below the efavirenz IC50 for wild-type HIV.
Efavirenz concentrations in the CSF are only 0.5% of plasma concentrations but exceed the wild-type IC50 in nearly all individuals. Since CSF drug concentrations reflect those in brain interstitial fluids, efavirenz reaches therapeutic concentrations in brain tissue.
CNS; pharmacology; non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
Combination antiretroviral therapy (CART) has greatly reduced medical morbidity and mortality with HIV infection, but high rates of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) continue to be reported. Because large HIV-infected (HIV+) and uninfected (HIV−) groups have not been studied with similar methods in the pre-CART and CART eras, it is unclear whether CART has changed the prevalence, nature, and clinical correlates of HAND. We used comparable methods of subject screening and assessments to classify neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in large groups of HIV + and HIV − participants from the pre-CART era (1988–1995; N = 857) and CART era (2000–2007; N = 937). Impairment rate increased with successive disease stages (CDC stages A, B, and C) in both eras: 25%, 42%, and 52% in pre-CART era and 36%, 40%, and 45% in CART era. In the medically asymptomatic stage (CDC-A), NCI was significantly more common in the CART era. Low nadir CD4 predicted NCI in both eras, whereas degree of current immunosuppression, estimated duration of infection, and viral suppression in CSF (on treatment) were related to impairment only pre-CART. Pattern of NCI also differed: pre-CART had more impairment in motor skills, cognitive speed, and verbal fluency, whereas CART era involved more memory (learning) and executive function impairment. High rates of mild NCI persist at all stages of HIV infection, despite improved viral suppression and immune reconstitution with CART. The consistent association of NCI with nadir CD4 across eras suggests that earlier treatment to prevent severe immunosuppression may also help prevent HAND. Clinical trials targeting HAND prevention should specifically examine timing of ART initiation.
HIV; Combination antiretroviral therapy; HIV dementia
Clinicians and clinical neuroscientists are aware that individuals with bipolar disorder are at greater risk for developing serious medical, psychiatric, and substance-use comorbidities as compared with the general population.1,2 Less widely appreciated, however, is the observation that HIV infection appears to be more prevalent among persons with bipolar disorder and that both conditions pose significant risk for cognitive impairment.3 Higher rates of HIV infection among persons with bipolar disorder should not be surprising, given that infection and transmission of HIV involves risk factors that converge with bipolar disorder (eg, impulsivity, substance abuse). These factors likely also worsen adherence to treatment for both bipolar and HIV illness, and may adversely impact health-related quality of life and therapeutic outcomes. The public health consequence may be that nonadherence to antiretroviral therapy could lead to higher rates of transmission of treatment-resistant strains of HIV that can evolve with sporadic adherence. The intersection of bipolar disorder and HIV therefore merits discussion by clinicians, researchers, and policy makers.